Accepting Compliments

Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaYesterday, I watched President Obama’s speech and the part that struck me most was his compliments to his wife, Michelle and their two daughters. What if your husband or father got a chance to speak to the whole world and he took time to compliment you in his speech? How would it make you feel? Wonderful or embarrassed?

Accepting Compliments

If you accept genuine compliments well, it tells you something about yourself: you are comfortable with who you are and like yourself. If you are uncomfortable with receiving compliments and try to brush them aside, perhaps it’s time you worked on your self-esteem. I wrote about how sometimes we find it easier to believe ‘bad’ things about ourselves in my guest post, ‘The Bad Stuff Sticks?’ on Aaron Outward a while back.

accepting compliments


Here are some quotes on compliments:

I can live two months on a good compliment.
– Mark Twain

Every likes a compliment.
– Abraham Lincoln

You’re not going to be great at everything. Surround yourself with people that can compliment you so you can work together and then everybody can be successful.
– Jonathan Tisch

I am suggesting that as we go through life, we ‘accentuate the positive.’ I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort.
– Gordon B. Hinckley

How do you accept compliments?


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  1. says

    When my dad had his speech in his fellowship program, we were so proud of him. And he loved the compliments showered upon him… The last time I had compliments my way, it was in 12-12-12, when everybody saw me all made up. I wasn’t so keen on accepting those compliments then I told myself, Ooo false pride 😛

  2. says

    I blush when I get compliments and they do make me a happy lot; unfortunately which I don’t get from the people I desire. These days, my son gives me compliments whenever he eats a meal or I dress up. And that does make me beam..:)
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  3. Rachna says

    I normally take compliments well. But there are certain people who overdo it. Not every compliment is genuine either. The other day, I saw a friend (she is pretty fat) having a conversation with another lady. I was taking my evening walk. The other lady was complimenting this friend that she is so slim so why does not need to exercise. I rolled my eyes, and this friend also gave her an exasperated look. Don’t know why people do it? I also think that one needs to be gracious not haughty while accepting one.
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  4. rimly says

    I used to be very uncomfortable with compliments because I did not know how to respond to them. It used to embarrass me. But today even though some part of me is still unsure how to react, I try and thank the person and accept it gracefully. You are right it has a lot to do with low self esteem and mine was at its all time low for many years. I think today I am more sure of myself and when a compliment comes my way, I enjoy it and accept it. Thank you for sharing such thought provoking posts, Corinne. I really enjoy reading them

  5. says

    I have observed many people don’t know how to take compliments in stride including me. Mostly when people compliment, I fumble for a response . Lately, I am taking the effort to listen to the compliment and thank the person who has given me the compliment.
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  6. says

    Ouch! That hurt! :) I’m the worst when it comes to taking compliments. Lack of practice, maybe, since so few come my way :)

    Seriously, though, it is a problem with the way we are brought up too. Being told that one should never be proud of one’s own self since childhood makes you unsure about what ‘becoming modesty’ is and where you are ungracious in accepting a compliment.

    I do not think, therefore, that I am lacking in self-esteem (in fact my friends would accuse me of overweening arrogance :) ) but lacking in social graces.

    • says

      Not a good start to your reading here then? I think you’re being modest about the lack of compliments coming your way, or just fishing, perhaps! :)
      Yes, I understand perfectly about how our parents and other elders didn’t compliment us for fear that we’d get too big for our boots. Learning to accept compliments gracefully might be a social grace too as you say.


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